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The Lion King


“The Lion King”(1994) – Movie Trailer


The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story takes place in a kingdom of lions in Africa, and was influenced by the biblical tales of Joseph and Moses and the Shakespearean play Hamlet.

The film was produced during a period known as the 

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Disney Renaissance. The Lion King was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, produced by Don Hahn, and has a screenplay credited to Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton.

Its songs were written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, with an original score by Hans Zimmer.

The film features a large ensemble voice cast led by Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Moira Kelly and Nathan Lane. 

The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as king; however, after Simba’s uncle Scar murders Mufasa, Simba is fooled into thinking he was responsible and flees into exile in shame and despair. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny.

Development of The Lion King began in 1988 during a meeting between Jeffrey Katzenberg, Roy E. Disney and Peter Schneider while promoting Oliver & Company in Europe. Thomas Disch wrote a film treatment, and Woolverton developed the first scripts while George Scribner was signed on as director, being later joined by Allers. Production began in 1991 concurrently with Pocahontas, which wound up attracting most of Disney’s top animators. Some time after the staff traveled to Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya to research on the film’s setting and animals, Scribner left production disagreeing with the decision to turn the film into a musical, and was replaced by Minkoff. When Hahn joined the project, he was dissatisfied with the script and the story was promptly rewritten. Nearly 20 minutes of animation sequences took place at Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. Computer animation was also used in several scenes, most notably in the wildebeest stampede scene.

The Lion King was released on June 15, 1994 to a positive reaction from critics, who praised the film for its music, story and animation; it finished its run as the highest-grossing release of 1994.

Following a 3D re-release in 2011, with earnings of over US $987 million worldwide as of 2011, the film is the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history, the highest-grossing 2D animated film in the United States and the 19th-highest-grossing feature film of all time. 

The Lion King garnered two Academy Awards for its achievement in music and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

The film lead to many derived works, such as a Broadway adaptation, two direct-to-video follow-ups – sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and the prequel/parallel The Lion King 1½ (2004) — and the spin-off series Timon and Pumbaa[From: Wikipedia.com]

A lion prince, Simba, is born in Africa and the animals of the Pride Lands pay tribute. Later Simba is told by his father, King Mufasa, that when Mufasa dies, Simba will become King of the Pride Lands. Simba’s Uncle Scar would have been king after Mufasa had Mufasa not had a child. Fueled by rage, Scar plots to kill Mufasa and Simba so he is able to take over the throne. He uses the hyenas to cause a stampede through the canyon where Mufasa and Simba are, and personally ensures Mufasa falls to his death. Simba survives so Scar implies that the stampede was Simba’s fault and that the pride will blame him. Simba flees the Pride Lands meaning never to return home. Simba is found, collapsed with exhaustion, by Timon the Meerkat, and Pumbaa the Warthog, and the trio become fast friends. Simba stays with them well into adulthood until his childhood friend, Nala, hunting beyond the Pride Lands that herds had deserted under Scar’s mismanagement stumbles upon Simba’s new home. Astonished to find him alive, she begs him to return to the Pride Lands, where Scar has reigned as King for years, and ruined everything. All of the animals will starve if Simba does not return. Simba eventually agrees to fight for his kingdom. Simba battles Scar, and learns his father’s death was Scar’s fault, not his own. Simba prevails and takes his fathers place as rightful king, mirroring “The Circle of Life.” [From: IMDB.com]

Revisiting The Lion King seventeen years after its original release, it is easy to see why it captured the imagination of audiences at the time. The operatic story of king-to-be lion cub Simba (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas), whose father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is murdered by Simba’s uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons), draws on centuries of classic mythology from the Bible to Shakespeare, most notably Hamlet. The animation still looks fresh and expressive, most of the songs still resonate and the comic relief provided by the comedy duo meerkat Timon (Nathan Lane) and warthog Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) is still very funny. It is also a film with a deeply disturbing ideology where rule by birthright and might is presented as acceptable within the film’s odd Zen/Darwinist Circle of Life philosophy.

The Lion King is part of a long tradition in Walt Disney feature animation films of unquestioningly accepting monarchical rule, where power and privilege is hereditary and seen as just. The villains in such films are those who would undermine such conventions, as is the case in The Lion King with Scar who is denied his chance to be king when Simba is born. While such notions seem to contradict the fiercely republican values of the American audiences the films are principally made for, Disney has always distanced itself from its monarchist values by associating those values as belonging to fantasy lands or foreign countries, usually within Europe. In this way the mythology can be enjoyed without being too close to home. Then again, the plutocratic attitudes exalted by many contemporary neo-conservative Americans suggest that desiring a society ruled by the wealthy is not a completely foreign concept. [From: Blog.cinemaautopsy.com]

Life Lessons to Learn from The Lion King

1) Give Encouragement Everyday.  Most of the scenes between Mufasa and Simba feature a father encouraging his son. He tells Simba how great he will become. This lesson is something all Aunties can do. One of the best gifts that you can give your niece or nephew is encouragement.  What we are told about ourselves as children stays with us forever. When you encourage the little ones as they grow, you are planting seeds of self love in them that will last forever.
2) Say Hakuna Matata. When Simba runs away, he is found by Timon and Pumba. When they see that he is down they teach him the saying “hakuna matata” which is Swahili for “there are no worries.”  Stop worrying about finding Mr. Right. Don’t worry that you will be alone forever or worry about anything else in your life. When something is not going your way, change your perspective. Let go of worries and fear. Replace them with love and positivity. What you think about, you bring about in your life.
3) Always show respect. When Mufasa and Simba are having a father and son talk, Mufasa explains to Simba that even though they are at the top of the food chain, every animal has to be respected. This reminds us that everyone is important because they bring a unique value to the world. Do not assume that someone is not on your level because of their profession or the amount of money that they have. Treat others as you would want to be treated. This is great for building loving and lasting relationships with a potential partner and friends.
4) It is time. There is a wise monkey named Rafiki who anoints Simba the day of his baby ceremony. When he finds out Simba is still alive, he states “it is time.” It affirms the inevitable; Simba should take his rightful place as King. Long story short, you can run but you can not hide from a destiny that belongs to you. You are here to be great and do amazing things in your life. There will be challenges thrown in your way to throw you off course, however, everything that you need is already inside of you.  Be who you are, it is always time.
5) Remember who you are. What Samba came to realize is that he had to accept his greatness and stop running from past mistakes. Doing this is when everything fell into place. Be your own yea-sayer. Do not let circumstances take you away from your greatness. If you incorporate this lesson into your life, all of the other Lion King lessons will easily be incorporated as well. You are exactly who you think you are. [From: Savvyauntie.com]


Leadership Lessons:

Good Leaders Understand the Circle of Life

Mufasa is a “true leader.” He understands the responsibilities and boundaries of his jurisdiction. First of all, he understands the “Circle of Life” and ensures his offspring are properly educated as to the expectations of a thriving organization. As human beings, we are the only creatures who delegate the largest part of our offspring’s learning.

Good Leaders Use Transformational Leadership

Mufasa demonstrated transformational leadership. He taught his son, Simba, how to be a leader. He didn’t use force or manipulation. Instead, he provided discipline and demonstrated unconditional love. In the process, Mufasa learned to be patient, compassionate, and understanding. He was willing to invest time and effort so that Simba could become a capable leader.

Good Leaders Display Motivational Leadership

Throughout the movie, Mufasa encouraged his son to be strong and courageous. Whenever we encourage others they, in turn, become confident and gain respect for themselves. When you have respect for yourself, you gain the respect of those around you.

Bad Leaders Only Accept Power, Not People

Scar’s leadership style was positional and manipulative; his motives were selfish and dishonest. He had no concern for the well being of the lions or anybody else. His desire for power led him to murder his own brother and deceive his family. He lied to everyone so he could fulfill his own selfish desires. His primary concern was to achieve and maintain power.

Bad Leaders Have No Vision

Scar had no vision for his followers. This became evident towards the end of the movie when all the food was gone and Scar was still unwilling to make necessary changes to help the community. He was more concerned about his position as king. When this type of person’s ability is questioned they create excuses or blame others for their failures. The result of this type of leadership leads to tension and frustration.

Good Leaders Work in a Process of Development

Simba faced tremendous challenges without the support of his father. His situation forced him to see that leadership is not about being brave or a display of power. It is a process of development and discipline. We can’t always depend on someone else to do everything for us, nor should we expect our mentors to always be there.

Good Leaders Know the Responsibilities and Duties

Mufasa’s tragedy helped in the sense that it showed Simba the truth about his identity and responsibilities. Simba learns to accept his circumstances and during this phase, he discovers the insight of his father. He becomes aware of the responsibilities and the duties that are necessary for him to become the leader he was supposed to be.

Good Leaders Discover Their Identity and Potential

Simba is no longer enslaved by his past. He as become a full-grown lion who can now fend for himself and defend others in his community. He was willing to face rejection, confrontation, and uncertainty because he knew his uncle Scar had to be overthrown. He had to take back what was his and he was courageous at the right moment. He rose to the occasion and displayed the characteristics of a true leader.

Good Leaders Exude Integrity

Integrity is congruence between what you say and what you do; it is the keystone of leadership. The Lion King teaches us that there is no replacement for integrity and that everything exists in a delicate balance. We need to understand that balance and respect all creatures – great and small – because we are all connected in the great “Circle of Life.” [From: Pqcinternational.wordpress.com]


1. Blood is not always thicker than water

And not to mention, never forget, never forgive.  Evil Uncle Scar, aptly named for scarring our childhoods, taught us that just because someone is your dad’s bro, does not mean that you can trust them one inch.

2. Keep calm and hakuna matata 

3. Feel the fear and do it anyway 

Simba’s journey into the unknown made him the lion he is today – and that included doing some pretty out-of-the-box stuff.  Another sub-life-lesson, just because everyone tells you you’re a lion, doesn’t mean you can’t do non-lion-y stuff. You be whoever you want to be, and eat whatever you want to eat.

4. Growing up in the face of adversity 

We wouldn’t be the first ones to point out that Simba was raised by two father figures and turned out swell. He also lost his family (sob), and his culture along the way. Yet look at this amazing coming-of-age-montage! He made puberty look like a breeze.

5. Don’t let the laws of physics stop you from having fun

In the world of Disney, having fun is mandatory. Literally nothing should stop you from being able to break out into song at a moment’s notice, and look how these guys managed it against all the odds. In the wise words of Dolly Parton, if you want the rainbow, you’ve gotta put up with the rain.

6. Sometimes you have to break the rules

Because bosses are boring and the rules are made to be broken!  Sometimes, just sometimes, sticking it to the man is OK.  Particularly in the name of a great show-tune. Sorry, Zazu.

7. Love will triumph evil

At the end of the day, good really will triumph over bad, no matter how doom and gloom it gets.  Also, let’s take a moment to recognise one of the greatest love songs of all time, shall we? Can You Feel the Love Tonight made lions look romantic, which is no mean feat. [From: Metro.co.uk]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~   REVIEWS & RATINGS   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

METACRITIC: Rates it 83 – Generally Favourable Reviews >

ROTTEN TOMATOES: Rates it at Fresh Tomatoes –  90% / 110 Reviews  >

IMDB: Rates it 8.5/10 from 431,662 users with a metascore of 83/100 >

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